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Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
This week I would like to share with you a new addition to the Inland Empire.  My sister Sarah is the owner and publisher of  the hit magazine "SAVE THE DATE."  The magazine premiered in Los Angeles eight years ago, but Sarah always longed to return to the Inland Empire (the place of her birth).  On  Friday, January 25th  she along with our brother Rev. Jon Harris, joined the Black History Committee of Riverside in the Kick-off celebration for Black History Month at Zacateca's Café.  The evening started with a performance by the Bre Dance Studio. They performed two numbers before a crowd of almost 100 attendees!

Several dignitaries and community leaders were present including, but not limited to Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge, City Councilman Chris MacArthur from Ward 5, and Captain Dave Hernandez from the Riverside City Fire Department.  Mrs. Carmen Roberts served as this year's chair and she honored the City of Riverside, the Riverside Public Utilities, Altura Credit Union, the Riverside City Fire Department, Burrtec Waste Industries, the Precinct Reporter Group, RBS and our own Black Voice News for their continued support of the work and endeavors of The Black History Committee of Riverside.

The theme for this year is "It Takes A Village -  Leaders:  Past, Present & Future."  The organization plans to have several events throughout the year.  On Saturday, February 9, 2008 will be the 29th Anniversary Parade and Expo.  The Parade begins at 10:00am from Terracina & Magnolia (Riverside City College) and will proceed down Market Street.  The Expo will also begin at 10:00am and will be located on Main Street next to City Hall.  To learn more contact the Black Voice News.

So let's remember we are in this together.  Come out and celebrate our history while we make history!

We welcome your questions.  Please feel free to email me directly at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!

Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.     

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
As I continue to talk about the subject of "Events," I want to give a few more items one should really think about and consider before doing their function.

  • What is the Purpose? (Why are you doing it)
  • Do you have a Budget?
  • What is your Theme?
  • Make sure you put together a Timeline/Checklist to follow so you don't forget anything
  • What Resources do you have to assist you with this endeavor?
  • Think about the Key People /(Team) that can help make your event successful
  • Honorary Chair
  • Committee Members
  • Honorees/Awardees
  • Speaker
  • Entertainment
  • Have you thought about how you plan to promote and market your event?
  • Do you plan to Advertise or are you counting on free publicity?
  • Sponsorships - do you have a list of corporations and donors that will support your cause?
  • Do you have Templates that you can follow regarding the letters you need to send out?
  • Calendar - have you checked around to make sure you don't plan your event on the same day as another event that will cause conflict?

Just a few things to think about as you contemplate your ideas for 2008!

We welcome your questions.  Please feel free to email me directly at wendy@personalservicesplus.com

 

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!

Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com. 

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
I've been receiving emails and phone calls from readers that are asking some basic questions about events and how to prepare for one.  Since it is the top of the year, I thought it might be a good time to review a couple of  these questions and hopefully shed some light and bring a new perspective or direction.


Question:  When is the best time to hold an event?


The answer to this question really varies.  There are several factors that I believe you need to factor in.  Research and find out as much as possible through local calendars and organizations and see  when established on-going events happen each year and try and stay away from those dates.  Also as a rule, unless you are having a wedding or family reunion, summers aren't the best time either (Unless you're the Regalettes with their White Party).  More and more organizations are having their events during the week and not depending on just the weekends.  However, as a rule Monday's are not a good night to do an event.


Question:  What should come standard when booking an event at a hotel?


Always remember, it never hurts to just ask.  For example, most hotels do provide you as part of the contract the tables, chairs, china, and standard basic linens.  However, if you are having a silent auction with your event, the hotel may charge you for the tables & linens for that set-up.  Also some properties will provide you with a complimentary podium and microphone for your set-up, but not always.  That will often depend on if the AV department is "in-house" or a separate company.  A big negotiating item would be if the hotel charges you a "Meeting Room or Ballroom Rental Fee."  Oftentimes when you order a certain dollar amount for your food and beverage you can negotiate that fee down or completely off, but they're not going to just remove it if you don't ask.  The bottom line, do your homework, ask as many questions as you need, try and get three different bids and compare.  If the property you want to go to is higher than one of the other bids you received, then use that bid as a negotiating tool with the hotel you really want to go to.  You never know, if you are trying to take your event to their property and you're flexible with your date, they may be able to work with you and accommodate your desired budget. 

If you've never done an event before, I truly recommend that you sit down with a professional and seek advice.  If you're not able to afford the full services of an event management company, you may be able to afford them for an hour or so where they can sit down with you and give you some real valuable advice and written direction!  Sometimes it pays to invest a little upfront then to lose a lot on the back end!

We welcome your questions.  Please feel free to email me directly at wendy@personalservicesplus.com


Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!

Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.   

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
January represents the month when most of the country pays honor to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  With the passing of his wife who dedicated her life to his work and memory, along with the death of his daughter, Yolanda, this past year, we must not let his dream or efforts die over time.  It is very important for all of us, black, white, yellow, brown or red to come together and pay honor to a man who died to make all of our lives better. So I challenge you to think about how you will either create an event or attend an event in your area that remembers this man.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Dr. King graduated from high school at the age of 15 and then went on to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.  Upon graduation from Morehouse he went on to attend Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.  He furthered his education by attending Boston University where he met and eventually married Coretta Scott.  Together they had four children.

In 1954 he became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.  This is where he began his civil rights activities through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NACCP) with what we all know today as the infamous bus ride made by Ms. Rosa Parks.

In 1957 Martin was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the civil rights movement of that day.  Dr. King patterned much of his activity after the teachings of Ghandi and his Christian faith.  He traveled around the country doing his best to make a difference and in 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize.  He was the youngest man to have received this honor at the age of 35.  Most of us today are very familiar with his "I Have a Dream" speech made in Washington, D.C., before over 250,000 individuals who came from around the world to help promote peace and equal rights for all.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has always meant a lot to me, not only for the difference he made for our society, but also because my father, Johnny Harris, who was a pastor himself in Riverside, memorized several of his speeches and recited them at various programs during the months of January and February around the greater Inland Empire area.  Also for over 10 years I've had the honor of being the Event Manager for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles' King Week.  In closing, I urge all of you to seek out through your church, local community based organizations and city activities to find a way to attend an event or activity paying honor to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  If you have difficulty finding something, please don't hesitate to contact me via email wendy@personalservicesplus.com or call the Black Voice Newspaper for more information.


Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!

Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.   

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
Whenever we think of the month of January most of us think about the goals and objectives we hope to accomplish in the year to come.  Over the holidays I had the opportunity to slow down a bit, relax and actually go to the movies.  One of the movies that really stuck with me was, "The Great Debaters," produced by Oprah Winfrey and starring Denzel Washington (among other wonderful actors).  This movie was not only entertaining, but also thought provoking.  As an "event planner" of course I thought about the details that must go into place when it comes to putting on a formal "debate" (especially during that era).  But on a personal note, it touched me because my grandmother who raised me was born in Marshall, Texas over one-hundred years ago. 

You may ask yourself, what does this have to do with Community Relations or Event Planning?  This movie was set in the 1930's/1940's and was about the struggle and success of Wiley College's Debate Team.  As I stated in the first paragraph, it does intrigue me the details that must have gone into putting together a formal debate (the set-up, the promotion, the handling of guests, and during that time we won't even think about sleeping arrangements, hotels weren't knocking down their doors to us, so sleeping arrangements had to be made with private residents in their homes, etc.)  Think about what "Community Relations" really means.  Let's first break down the two words:  "Community" - any group living in the same area or having like interests; sharing in common.  Now let's look at the word "Relations" - connection, connected by blood or marriage, the coming together.  When you look up what the words together mean it states, the coming together for the common good of all that have a like or shared interest. 

Although most of us will never actually put together a formal "debate" as we experienced in this movie, many community based organizations and non-profits do various types of "forums" that have a similar format.  So as you begin to plan the various activities, events, forums, etc., for 2008 keep in mind "community."  Remember we are all connected in some way or another.   Think about our common good and what brings us together.  To borrow a line from the movie, "we do what we HAVE to in order to do what we WANT to.  So remember, do what you must in order for us to all make progress. 


Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

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